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Project Runway: Lay Off of Wendy Pepperby Phil Kural -- 03/02/2005
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First, let me state that Project Runway became a guilty pleasure of mine. I had never intended to watch it, but my roommate was watching the first episode, and I just happened to be watching out of the corner of my eye as I was folding laundry. By the end of that episode, I was hooked! I didn't really want one specific person to win over anyone else, since for the most part I thought everyone was pretty talented and they all deserved to be there. However, Wendy stuck out like a sore thumb – and I thought she stuck out in a good way!
Wendy struggled during the early stages of the competition. I don't think she understood that it was going to be as intense as it was, or knew that they would have to meet such difficult deadlines. Since she was a dressmaker at home and probably worked on her own time, I'm willing to bet all this hit her hard. However, that's not really what this was about. Quite frankly, by mid-season, I was getting pretty ticked off. If you watched the show, you are probable assuming that I was ticked off at Wendy. Not so. I was actually pretty angry with the other designers. So what if Wendy was a little smug if she won a competition? So what if she liked to gloat? The other designers made her out to be the devil, and I just didn't see it! It's a competition, and Wendy said that over and over. It's not like she intentionally went out to sabotage people.
People got mad when Wendy was happy that the others were sweating it out during Austin's elimination. Why shouldn't she be? Wendy had overcome some pretty big odds to land in the final four at that point, and if I were her, I'd be happy too! Some said that she didn't have the consistency to be the winner of the show. Once again, I disagree. Some of her designers were a little much, but the other designers were making her out to be horrible. Her Banana Republic dress was the winner of that challenge, her wedding dress was awesome, and her Grammy dress was pretty hip, too. The feathers were a bit much, but everyone struggled with that challenge.
What really brought all this to a head was that, during the finale, Kara was able to get shoes for her outfits for free from Dollhouse. Mind you, this is the same Kara that accused Wendy of stealing her fabric, then told Wendy to play fair and to stop selling her soul. Kara was told that she couldn't use the shoes since she got them for free and it wasn't fair to Wendy and Jay. Now, I love Jay, but why he didn't speak up is beyond me.
Wendy, in her highlight of the season, spoke up to say it was wrong for Kara to call Dollhouse and have them charge her pennies for the shoes, so that she could say she bought them. Good for you, Wendy! But did Kara want to hear any of this? Of course not! She went on this tangent about how she's a professional and has connections. Well, if you are such a professional, make it work and stop looking for handouts. I liked Kara until the finale, when she decided to win the hypocrite of the year award for criticizing Wendy over nonsense, then turning around and basically trying to cheat to win the competition!
Wendy handled herself well the whole time she was there. She was there to win a competition and get her name in front of the public, and she did the latter. Sometimes her designs weren't the best, but sometimes they were. I think Wendy proved that it's never too late to follow a dream. Her daughter has someone great to look up to, and I hope Wendy makes it. And to the person who drew on her daughter’s picture (I'm looking at you, Kevin!), you should be ashamed. Seriously, is that the only way you can get back at people? Aren't you a little old to be doing things like that? I think we know who the better person is.
So let me end this before I start rambling. I just wanted to state for the record that Wendy does have fans out there. I don't run down the street with pepper shakers, trying to figure out clever ways to show my support, but every time she was one of the last two standing on that runway, I had a little knot in my stomach. Jay was a great winner for the show, and he deserved it. But like I said, Wendy had a lot to prove, and she did. On that note, in the words of Heidi – AL VEE DER ZANE!
Phil Kural is a recent graduate of Temple University and can be reached with any comments at email@example.com.
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